Creature Comforts in the Great Outdoors
Let's talk about 2024 camping, not 1990.
Creature Comforts in the Great Outdoors by Around the world cyclist and adventurer, Mark Beaumont
You are reading a blog about camping – which means you are either already a fan or at least partly convinced. However, if you are like me, not everyone in your family or friendship group agrees – and their reluctance is likely to be around simple creature comforts.
Why would I give up a perfectly cosy hotel to spend time in a field? ‘It is cheaper’ isn’t really the positive reassurance people are needing to convince them. ‘To get back to nature’ isn’t really going to cut it if you and the kids are up at 4am with the summer daylight and you are uncomfortable when you do get to sleep.
You need people around you to get onboard and excited about this summer’s staycation or mini adventures in order for the whole thing to happen and not feel like you are a parent dragging the kids to the beach on a rainy day. And let’s face it, the prospect of a trip to Spain seems unlikely right now, so let’s focus on great adventures closer to home.
Here is an odd analogy for you - if you only ever experienced going to the pub 30 years ago, you would reflect on the cloud of smoke that hung low and how your clothes and hair reeked afterwards, not to mention how some pubs could be crowded, intimidating places.
We all love nostalgia, it the file that takes the rough edges from the good old days (quoting Doug Larsen), but I wouldn’t actually wish to be back in the old canvas triangle tent that my Granny gave me. It weighted a ton and let water in, not to mention the separate groundsheet that let the wildlife come and visit me during the night – or my torch that was the size of a toaster!
Times have changed – going to the pub is no longer a smoky affair, just like going camping is no longer a Robinson Crusoe affair. In fact, family camping, the sort where you bundle everything into the back of your car, not onto your backpack, is oozing with luxury. I hazard that anyone around you who is still dragging their feet, are focussed on their memories of 1990 and not the creature comforts of 2020.
Here are just some of the ways to make family trips into the great outdoors a bit more luxurious these days.
You can still play tetrus with tent poles if you wish, but by far the simplest systems blow’s up using an electric pump directly from your car’s 12V socket. These tents have big ‘rib’s of air that keep them strong in all conditions, like the structure of a bouncy castle. You have a lot more space than in old tents as well – I am 6ft 3inches and can walk around inside my Galli lll, which attaches directly to the side of my van, but is stand-alone so I can drive away for daytrips.
Tents and awnings also come with skyliners – no more dreaded condensation inside the tent or icy starts, this is ‘double glazing’ for tents making them dry and snug inside.
Black-out inner tents – with these new Midnight Bedrooms there is no more waking up with the sun at 4am, these sleeping pods clip inside family tents and mean that the kids will get a full night’s sleep, which is good news for everyone involved!
A great addition to a tent or awning is windbreaks – using the same AirBeam® technology to give you shelter from wind and privacy from nosy neighbours.
View AirBeam® Awnings HERE
View AirBeam® Tents HERE
View Awning Windbreaks HERE
View Tent Windbreaks HERE
No more sleeping on the ground or waking up on a partly deflated bed - these are the height of your bed at home and blown up straight from the car electrics, with variable firmness, that keeps checking and adjusting the air pressure whilst you sleep.
View the Blissful Airbed HERE
Radiate Heated Sleeping Bags and Mats
These have heated graphene pads, inside an already 10 tog 3 season sleeping bag, so absolutely snug as a bug for even the coldest sleepers.
There is also a heated mat in the collection which you could add to any sleeping bag or camping chair.
Sunbeam LED Lights
These long tapes of light can run off a USB battery pack, or the car 12V, so no more need to flounder about the tent with a torch – just like putting up the Christmas lights and they even come with a remote control so you can turn off when snug inside your sleeping bag.
View the Sunbeam Light Range HERE
If this is all news to you and your loves ones, happy days! And if it really was 1990 the last time you (or they) went camping, it’s time to get back out there.
Have a lovely summer in the great outdoors.